On beating out infield hit to keep streak alive, just as rewarding?
“Oh, yeah, dude. Every hit counts. I’ll take the infield ones with the doubles in the gaps. Hitting ain’t easy.”
On the timing of that hit being particularly important
“Yeah, we needed a runner on. I was able to get down the line quick enough to be called safe. That was a big point in the game right there.”
On streak tied for second-longest in Atlanta history, one shy of longest in majors this season
“Yeah? Nice. Like I said, I’m going to continue to have fun and continue to get my work in and continue to try to do everything I can to help this team win. We’re getting back on track as a team, I feel like. Just keep it going.”
On Alex Gonzalez, two homers in two days
“Honestly, nobody even cares what he does with the bat. Anything he does with the bat is a bonus. And I think people don’t give him his much credit as he deserves for his offensive abilities, because he’s a good hitter as well. He’s so good defensively, and everybody knows it. But he can really swing the bat, and swing it for power and hit the gaps.”
On Alex Gonzalez 3-run homer
“You make a mistake with him, he can run you out of the ballpark.”
On Uggla’s infield hit
“He beat it out, nicely done. When you get into those high numbers on hitting streaks, you’ve got to be lucky sometimes, hit a dribbler or a jam shot that falls. He seems to be doing it.”
On Uggla’s streak
“You pull for all your players the same. But what he went through in April and May, and how he kept a level head and came in every day and answered all the questions, it’s nice for him to be able to do what he signed up for. You’ve got to give him all the credit in the world. There’d be a lot of guys moping around in April and May. He was the same guy. You guys saw that.”
On Proctor’s poor ninth inning
“You want to get through the situation where you don’t want to use your closer, want to try to give those guys a breather, and it just didn’t happen.”
On getting ejected
“You can’t argue balls and strikes. I deserve what I got.”
On his performance
“Started a little slow. The call of the night was clearly the sinker in to Gaby Sanchez in the first inning. To be able to get a big double play there, it gives you confidence, it really does. Especially the way I’ve been pitching. I’ve never been a ‘here we go again’ type guy. But you give up early runs in this game and who knows what happens? So that was a key to the whole game, to say, OK, we got out of that one.
“Believe it or not, it gave me confidence in the third inning when we’re in the exact same situation and the inning didn’t spiral out of control. Walk there doesn’t kill you, 4-nothing turns into 4-1. I’ll take it. It was a game where the runs definitely helped.”
“If you look at a lot of his hits throughout this streak — he’s been hustling like this all year long, but to get those hustle hits is very impressive. I said from Day 1 that I think everyone in here has so much respect for him because he never made excuses and never wanted out of the lineup. Having played this game, there’s a lot of people who’d struggle as much as he did early and start saying, ‘Hey, can you get my back,’ or, ‘I need a day.’ He wanted to be out there every single day.
“I actually looked to him for motivation, because I’m in the same spot myself, struggling. He never hung his head and kept grinding, finding a way. I’m trying to do the same thing myself.”
On Alex Gonzalez’ recent offensive contributions, including 3-run homer tonight
“You ask any pitcher in here, we don’t care if he hits .100, because of the runs that he saves us. Huge home run at that point, and I was very appreciative.”
“Sometimes you’re trying to pitch a good game, trying to get the results you expect to have. That’s why those runs were so important for me. I could finally say, OK, you don’t have to worry about giving up runs, you can go out there and pitch. And any time you start getting outs, you start gaining confidence. That’s what this game’s about.
“This is a game where you can kind of go out there and pitch the way you’re supposed to pitch.”
On getting lead for Lowe
“It’s always nice to get out to an early lead. First inning was a long one for D-Lowe, and then he settled down afterward. We got him a couple of runs early and he settled down.”
On Alex Gonzalez
“Couple of homers in back-to-back games. It’s fun when he starts to hit. A 2-2 changeup, he left it up and Alex was able to capitalize on it. Big three-run homer.”
On Lowe’s first inning
“To be able to get out of that bases-loaded [situation] with a double play was huge. We came back and got some runs for him and he just started settling down more and more. After a while it felt like it was just cruise control for him tonight.”
On ejection (Freeman tells story while smiling, good-naturedly, didn’t seem perturbed)
“It happened so fast. I watched the replay and I did go [swing]. I went on it. The only thing I asked him was to check [with the base umpire]. That’s all I did.
“I watched the replay, and as I was walking, I didn’t throw my helmet down, I just tossed it to the dugout. He warned me after that. I’m not even left-handed, I’m right-handed, and I just kind of tossed my bat with my left hand and he threw me out. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve seen a lot worse. But just one of those nights, he tossed me out.
“Couldn’t believe it. That was pretty incredible. I didn’t say anything. There was no reason I should have been thrown out of this game. All I asked was, why? All he said was, ‘You know what you got thrown out.’ At the time, I didn’t.” (laughs)